26 Sep 2019

The Road To Coastal Comic Con 2019

It's the inaugural Coastal Comic Con this Saturday and it's only a few minutes up the road from us. Could we be more excited to see a brand new con spring up in our own backyard?
Jo S: I have a handful of comics events of various kinds under my eagle-buckled belt so far, with Portsmouth Comic Con standing out as a high point, but a 'proper' comic con on my doorstep has until now been elusive: tales of woe from comic book fans unable to find a single back issue at the heavily Film and TV focussed events at our big local convention centre abound, and we've yet to find something to replace the PCG's beloved Melksham event of yore. The announcement of a new, independent comic con in Bournemouth was bound to create interest then, and Coastal's eye-catching graphic designs (Matt - no-not-our-Matt-another-Matt - one of the organising team, is a graphic designer by trade, and his concept for this is exceptional) and warm attitude on Facebook clinched it: this little con looks as if it has a big heart.

The team are a collective of makers, boardgamers, cosplayers and fans of geekery, built around Sam Marshall's MakeGeek collective with the support of the team behind the UK Comicon and Gaming Festivals project. The balance of content at events like this is so hard to get right, and the team has opted to push the family-friendly aspects of the con vigorously, which seems like the right move, considering the location of the event, right on Bournemouth's seafront, but it looks, promisingly, as if this will not make it solely a film and TV tourist trap: the geek is strong with this one, and there's a healthy element of comic book creators and enthusiasts in the lineup of guests and traders.
By dint of its roots, this event looks set to be awash with a fantastic array of cosplay glory, culminating at the end of the afternoon with a Cosplay Masquerade: the approach from the team is wonderfully inclusive and I'm looking forward to seeing cosplayers up there enjoying showing off the results of their hard work.

My own preparations are forging ahead: I'll be indulging in a little cosplay myself, I think I just need some eyelashes and to add a little perkiness to my Lasso of Truth which suffered from a slightly disappointing droop at Portsmouth! Andy H's preparations for the Paradox stand are coming together to produce an absolute feast for comic book fans, with lots of previously unavailable stock liberated from the store lockup and bargains galore. I'll also be helping out the CoCoCon team with some of the guest panels, so I'm doing my homework regarding Sontaran armour from different Dr Who eras, and looking into the fascinating history of the independent British comics industry - the lineup of guests looks phenomenal.

Only a couple of days to go and the excitementometer is already into the red zone: if you haven't made plans to be there yet, then grab your cosplay gear, from Avengelyne to Zod, and get down to the Royal Bath on Saturday - I'll be the one in the bullet-proof bracelets.

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